Thursday, May 15, 2008

With all due respect to veteran all-stars [Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones] who are enjoying scorching beginnings, here are the top 10 surprises for 2008 [so far]

2007 Bowman Heritage Rainbow Foil #78 - James Shields - Courtesy of

1.) The Tampa Bay Devil Rays [starting pitcher James Shields]- building up their team for the last several years; can anyone think they can keep up once the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox get their seasons in order? They possess a nucleus of pitching talent to go with a core of future stars.

2008 Topps #325 - Jim Leyland MG - Courtesy of

2.) The Detroit Tigers [manager Jim Leyland] - Miguel Cabrera hasn't been doing so bad, but he hasn't been playing with fire, so he gets his share of the blame. A closer look reveals the pitching isn't as good as hoped, either starting or relievers.

2005 Artifacts #251 - Nate McLouth FS RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of

3.)Nate McLouth [Pittsburgh Pirates' centerfielder] - runty guy whose time in the gym [along with a quick bat] is paying off with a powerful start [11 home runs in 161 at-bats].

2007 Topps Co-Signers Solo Sigs #CQ - Carlos Quentin A - Courtesy of

4.)Carlos Quentin [Chicago White Sox's left fielder] - he's always been a talent, but one frequently injured. He's leading the American League in home runs and if he stays healthy, he'll be a beast.

2008 Upper Deck #123 - Cliff Lee - Courtesy of

5.) Cliff Lee [Cleveland Indians' starting pitcher] - from pretty good to pretty sucky then to pretty dominant in 2008.

2004 Bowman Heritage #231 - Blake DeWitt DP RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of

6.)Blake DeWitt [Los Angeles Dodgers' third baseman] - it has only been over 100 at-bats, but despite a brief demotion, really is making Nomar Garciaparra a relic and Andy LaRoche, Dioner Navarro II.

2006 Topps 52 #246 - Dan Uggla  RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of

7.) The Florida Marlins [second baseman Dan Uggla] - its not just the $70 million face of the franchise in Hanley Ramirez, but Dan Uggla who has been carrying the load and powering the team to a surprise beginning.

2006 Fleer Tradition #47 - Skip Schumaker  RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of

8.) St. Louis Cardinals [outfielder Skip Shumaker] - Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan absolutely great turning veteran pitchers around [Joel Pineiro, Kyle Lohse, Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer, et al but in addition, they've allowed some fringe talent [Ryan Ludwick, Skip Shumaker, Brian Barton] to succeed and contribute along with the 'constant' in Albert Pujols. Centerfielder Rick Ankiel continues to impress with the bat and with his once promising pitching arm.

2007 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini A and G Back #74 - Ervin Santana - Courtesy of

9.) Ervin Santana [Los Angeles Angels' starting pitcher] - has the 'want it' instead of showing no confidence in his body language.

2007 Topps Update #299 - Edinson Volquez - Courtesy of

10.) Edinson Volquez [Cincinnati Reds' starting pitcher] - was traded for Josh Hamilton, who is doing well, but Volquez has turned a corner and has been dominant for the Cincinnati Reds so far.

Images courtesy of

1 comment:

Harner said...

Cliff Lee is #5? I would think he would be right behind the Rays.